On Our Radar: Urban Garden

This Fairfax restaurant is full of classic and contemporary twists on Mediterranean food

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Urban Garden Fairfax Mediterranean local
Fairfax's newest Mediterranean restaurant, Urban Garden, features local ingredients.

Updated Jul 25, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

Feeling sluggish after too many latkes and gingerbread men this season? Here’s a fast way to refresh your body in the New Year: head to the Fairfax District and try that Mediterranean diet you’ve been hearing so much about.

Urban Garden, brought to you by restaurateur George Abou-Daoud (Rosewood Tavern, The Bowery), is not your mama’s falafel joint (though dishes are inspired by Abou-Daoud’s mother’s home cooking). Featuring locally sourced ingredients and organic ones when possible—such as chickpeas, kale, spinach and parsley—Urban Garden offers a healthier twist to fast food with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.

A guide to some lesser-known Middle Eastern delights on Urban Garden’s menu:

  • Lentil Mujadarra. Traditionally a rice-and-lentil dish, the Urban Garden version pairs protein-rich lentils with bulgur, caramelized onions and spices.
  • Lebneh with Zaatar. Lebneh is strained yogurt—similar to Greek yogurt—and it’s lower in fat and carbs than traditional yogurt. Zaatar is a green blend of spices traditionally including sumac; throughout the Middle East, sellers pride themselves in producing unique blends.
  • Fattoush. This salad is made with tomato, bell pepper, romaine, cucumber, sumac, red onion, olive oil, cracked pita bread, and parsley. While pita bread isn’t something we’d eat a lot of, it’s okay in moderation; Urban Garden also offers whole grain pitas as a side.
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves. Though you may have had a rice-heavy version elsewhere, these are veggie-enriched with chickpeas, tomato, parsley, onion, lemon juice and spices.

Join Club Med.

Urban Garden
446 N. Fairfax Ave.
Daily: 12-10pm
323 951-0990
http://eaturbangarden.com/

“On Our Radar” features restaurants that might meet Clean Plates standards, but haven’t yet been thoroughly vetted and reviewed. For a directory of reviewed restaurants, see our Restaurant Finder.